I Wayan Cemul

Born in 1927, I Wayan Cemul was the cousin of Murni’s father – Murni owns the legendary Murni’s Warung in Ubud. He was one of Bali’s most famous sculptors, known for his non-conventional statues that were quintessentially Balinese in character and full of comic playfulness.

I Wayan Cemul was someone who journalist Madeleine Murray discovered when she studied stone carving with him in 1983. Completely dedicated to his craft, original, patient and outstanding in handling difficult students, Wayan Cemul was also known for being an excellent teacher. He did all without English and with his rudimentary Bahasa Indonesia. He was a master of non-verbal communication.

But it was writer John Darling who first encouraged Wayan Cemul (who had himself worked for Dutch artist Rudolf Bonnet as a gardener when he was still a young boy) to create flower pots and garden art in his unique primitive-modern style. Years later, in the 1990s, John, as well as landscape architect Bill Bensley, further developed Wayan Cemul garden art into decorative walls, fountain decorations, and garden lamps.

Wayan Cemul’s works have decorated multiple private houses as well as luxury resorts in and outside Bali: The Oberoi Bali, Amandari, Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran, and more.